Aptly nicknamed “America’s Dairyland”, Wisconsin is the biggest producer of dairy products in the US. But it is also home to the world’s largest music festival, numerous cultural and street festivals. Summers are so beautiful you can sleep outside! With more lakes than Minnesota, this is the perfect place for water lovers.
- Wisconsin does not require any moving permits, but many Wisconsin streets have restricted parking requiring permits or payment, so pay special attention to street and parking signs.
- If you are moving to one of Wisconsin’s many college towns, pick your moving date carefully. Late August and early September typically welcomes in thousands of students arriving to start their studies, so streets can be busier than normal.
- Wisconsin is known for heavy snowfall during winter months, so try to plan your moving date outside of the coldest months. Roads are well-maintained, but potholes tend to appear after the snow melts in springtime. Pay extra attention when driving to avoid accidents and damage to your vehicle.
- Always check your city’s calendar before moving to Wisconsin, as local festivals and events can make for busy traffic and even blocked streets. When the Green Bay Packers are playing a home game, you will want to avoid the area altogether.
Change your address online. To make your move from California to Wisconsin easier, consider changing your address online. It is easy to do, inexpensive, and will ensure that your mail arrives to your new home with you.
Cost of Living
With a median household income of $52,000 and a median home value of $165,000, the employment opportunities in Wisconsin will put you in a great spot compared to the cost of living. Overall, the cost of living for Wisconsin is fairly high, only about two percent cheaper than the United States’ average cost of living. Many of the smaller, more remote communities in Northern Wisconsin are more affordable than the average to live. However, it often depends on how well-kept the individual neighborhoods are.
Home prices in Wisconsin have appreciated 61.2% higher than the national level from last year. Looking back three years at the median price in October 2019 compared to October 2022, prices have increased 32.4% in Wisconsin VS 35.8% nationwide.
As of October 2022, the median price for a home in the state was $266,000, which is up 7.9% above last year’s median price. Comparing prices over the last three years, we can see they have decreased -7.6% from the peak of $287,900 in Jun-2022.
Wisconsin has a humid continental climate, with hot, humid summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall caused by the proximity of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. You will enjoy summer high temperatures of around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but in the winter, low temperatures hover around 24 degrees Fahrenheit, so make sure to bring warm clothes. About 66 percent of all precipitation occurs during the growing season, which is early spring through late summer. There are rarely tornadoes here, but thunderstorms can be severe, with the heavy, forceful wind.
When moving to Wisconsin, you’ll have access to some excellent schools, as the state has traditionally valued the importance of education for all. Current school rankings (elementary, middle and high schools), campus and district zoning/location maps, information and reviews are available online for parents moving to Wisconsin.
What follows are some of the most notable schools and universities:
- Elementary Schools: Benton Elementary in Benton, Hatley Elementary in Hatley and Plain Elementary in Plain are the top-ranked elementary schools.
- High Schools: Three of the top ten high schools are Iola Scandinavia High in Iola, Arrowhead high in Hartland and Germantown High in Germantown.
- Higher Education: Students of all ages moving to Wisconsin can attend the University of Wisconsin, which has 26 campuses, as well as the affiliated Wisconsin Technical College System. Other notable colleges include Lawrence University, Marquette University, the Medical College of Wisconsin and Beloit College.
When moving to Wisconsin, visit the State of Wisconsin’s website for current information about living and working in the Badger State.
- Wisconsin requires you to pay a state excise tax of 5 percent, as well as up to 0.5 percent per county, on any new vehicle you purchase.
- There are no toll roads in Wisconsin.
- After moving to Wisconsin, you can register to vote by mailing in a voter registration form to your local municipal clerk’s office. You can also register at the municipal clerk’s office in person, or at the polling station on Election Day.
- Trash and recycling are handled by each city individually.
- You are required to apply for a Wisconsin driver’s license and register your vehicle at your local DMV within 60 days of moving to Wisconsin, or 30 days if you want a commercial driver’s license.